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Army Names New Vehicle After Enlisted Heroes

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 27, 2002 – The Army has named its new interim armored vehicle after two soldiers who received the Medal of Honor.

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The new Army Light Armored Vehicle III variant equipped with a 105mm gun on display at the Pentagon May 17, 2001. Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Kathleen T. Rhem, USA.

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The Stryker is named in honor of Spc. 4 Robert F. Stryker, who received the Medal of Honor for his actions during the Vietnam War, and Pfc. Stuart S. Stryker, who received the award for his actions during World War II. Both men were killed in action. They were not related.

Stryker armored vehicles are at the center of the Army's Interim Brigade Combat Teams. The IBCTs will be lighter and more mobile, yet offer firepower no enemy can hope to match. Strykers are already being deployed to units at Fort Lewis, Wash. In all, six brigades will receive the vehicles. Each brigade will have more than 300 Strykers apiece.

This is only the second Army vehicle named after enlisted personnel. In the early 1980s, the service named the Division Air Defense gun for World War I hero Sgt. Alvin York. The system was plagued with problems before then-Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger cancelled it.

Sergeant Major of the Army Jack L. Tilley presided at the ceremony naming the vehicles at the Association of the U.S. Army meeting in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. "This is a tremendous combat vehicle, and it is totally appropriate that we name it after two great soldiers who gave their last full measure of devotion on the battlefield in defense of our nation," Tilley said.

Pfc. Stryker served with the 513th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 17th Airborne Division. He posthumously received the Medal of Honor for leading an attack on an enemy strong point near Wesel, Germany. The March 24, 1945, action captured more than 200 enemy soldiers and liberated three American pilots.

Spc. 4 Stryker served with the 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry of the 1st Infantry Division. On Nov. 7, 1967, his unit came under heavy attack. As the battle progressed, he noticed several wounded comrades in the killing zone of an enemy mine. Stryker threw himself on the mine and absorbed the blast.

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Related Sites:
U.S. Army Center of Military History Listings of Medal of Honor Citations
U.S. Army Interim Armored Vehicle 'Stryker' web site

Click photo for screen-resolution imageThe Army's new Light Armored Vehicle on display at the Pentagon May 17, 2001. Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Kathleen T. Rhem, USA.  
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